The Nuggets aren't officially eliminated, but have faded from serious playoff contention and are now focused on building a foundation for the future.

Monday's late-night victory over the Los Angeles Clippers, who came in as the NBA's hottest team with 11 consecutive wins, was the Nuggets' second eye-opening victory in a four-day span. Four days earlier, the Nuggets won at two-time defending champion Miami. After a miserable February, the Nuggets are intent on finishing strong and feeling good about themselves heading into the offseason.

Nuggets coach Brian Shaw is satisfied with his team's improvement, but wishes it had come sooner.